Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Mariner’s Way

It never occurred to me to ask his name. Suppose I didn’t need to. He knew where I lived and I know where his boat is moored.
I’m on the bottom of my boat. Grunting along with a roller coating the heavy stinky bottom paint on the hull of my old wooden boat. It’s taking a while and I’m not quite done the port side. Along comes Mr. Monk, Monk being the design of his boat, with some off-handed comment to the effect of “You’re almost there.”
Ha. Not even close I lament. I’m struggling as it is. It’s baking outside. I’m sick of smelling this obnoxious paint. I’ve been at it in the boatyard working away for going on my third day. Sun-up to sun-down.
Eventually I make my way round. Topping up my roller tray as I go. Then to my horror I realize I’m just over half way through my boat and I’ve got not enough paint left in my second can.
Sparingly I proceed. Changing my gloves. Struggling. The chandlery is closed it’s already well after 5 p.m.
Mr. Monk comes back the other way. I eye my tray and portray a grumble. Somehow he senses my predicament.
“I’ve got a half gallon left if you need it.”
“Yes please,” I quickly reply removing my mask. I have underneath the pads to do yet, besides the rest of the boat.
He’s about to launch his boat and comes over for some bottom paint out of my tray to do underneath the blocks while his boat is in the slings.
Upon his return he has a plastic bag. Leaving a stubby brush behind he suggests I use what I need and leave the brush inside.
It’s the same bottom paint I’ve always used for my boat (except today). I ask where he’s moored. I know where and to whom I need to leave it.
As he motors away I’m all done and I turn to yell, “You’re a lifesaver!”
Not really, it’s the mariner’s way. We always help each other out, no matter what.
If there’s a call at sea of someone in distress and you’re nearby, you help. No questions. No hesitation. It’s what I love about the sea. Us mariners speak a language of oneness. It’s the all for all.

No comments: